By Eyewitness News
4:18 PM CST, January 10, 2012
One week after learning Boeing plans to leave Wichita, another aviation company announces expansion plans. Bombardier Learjet and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback unveiled the details Tuesday.
Bombardier plans to expand its flight test center and create a center of excellence for engineering and information technology. The plans also include new facilities for paint and production flight tests and a new delivery center. In total, the expansion is expected to create 450 new jobs over the next seven to ten years.
"This is great news and indicates the strength of our relationship with the State of Kansas," said Steve Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Learjet has a rich and solid history in Kansas and we are committed to ensuring that it continues to grow and prosper along with new programs such as the Learjet 85 aircraft."
The State of Kansas is assisting with the companies expansion by providing $16 million in incentives. Bombardier says it's making a $600 million investment in the community by developing the Learjet 85 midsize jet and expanding the Wichita facility. The Learjet 85 is scheduled for entry into service in 2013.
"This great day for Wichita and Kansas highlights the strength and vibrancy of the Air Capital of the World," said Governor Sam Brownback. "Our workforce, supplier base, infrastructure, research and development and aviation training assets are second to none and today's announcement says that loud and clear. We value the strong commitment of Bombardier to Kansas and treasure this long-term, mutually beneficial relationship, which will lead to further opportunities and growth."
The City of Wichita and Sedgwick County have already each approved $1 million for their portions of the plan. This is Bombardier's second incentives deal with the state in the past two years.
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